Research shows that use of an electric toothbrush is more effective than a manual brush. CityScape Dental highly recommends and has available for purchase the Phillips Sonicare electric toothbrush. If you do use a manual toothbrush, it is best to use one with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gumline. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of all of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
Brush your teeth several times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque:
- In the morning after breakfast.
- At bedtime
As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. It is important to carefully floss and brush daily for optimal oral hygiene.
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gumline and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day.
Pull one to two feet of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth and gently under the gumline, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.
Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let someone on the CityScape Dental team know at your next appointment.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental check-ups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88% of all cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride, brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. For patients with multiple cavities or dry mouth symptoms, a prescription-level fluoride toothpaste or a specialized remineralizing paste (MI Paste) may be recommended.